Well I thought my rats-in-the-roof story was over. The decay process seems to have finished (the stain is drying out and the smell has gone) and I only have to wait now for the painters to cover up the evidence.
But then Saturday morning I got up to find the floors of the house covered with maggots, probably some 100-200 of them. I eventually traced them to a tiny hole in the ceiling quite close to the stain. They were wriggling through the hole, one after another, and dropping onto my hall floor ready to go off and explore the house. I watched them wriggling through for quite a while, horrified yet somehow fascinated. Thank goodness that hole was not above my bed…
Gloria helped me clear them up, and we put a bucket under the hole to catch the new ones, but I still kept finding more maggots as the day went on, appearing from behind various bits of furniture. You know what it’s like when you know there is (or may be) something in the room, that every time you move your head you seem to catch movement out of the corner of your eye – well it was like that, only nine times out of ten it was movement, and was a maggot wriggling stealthily along the skirting board.
Now we have got rid of them all, I think. Though I suppose it is inevitable that some will have found a safe hiding place, so I will suffer a plague of flies one day this week when they all mature.
On a brighter note, the start of the rains has been accompanied by huge numbers of big, beautiful butterflies which flit around the plants in my courtyard all day.
Oh, and I have five jars of home-made mango jam in my fridge: chopped up mangoes with some sugar and a squeeze of lemon, all boiled up in a pan for 15-20 minutes until the mixture reaches the consistency of jam. Easy, and delicious!